Spain, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol

P1010977-Gibraltar-from-beach Gibraltar then east along the Costa del Sol


Our ferry took exactly 60 minutes to cross from Ceuta to Algeciras. We then heeded around the bay to the obvious "Rock of Gibraltar". Entering Gibraltar it was good to be on a bike as we passed the long slow moving queue following other local riders finishing there Saturday morning exercise. The passport check at the border post was very quick and then we were all stopped at traffic lights as we watched a jet land and then taxi back in front of us along the Gibraltar airport runway, built perpendicular to the entry road with the road crossing the runway. I asked one of the riders about camping and being local (from Gibraltar) and speaking english this made getting information unusually easy. There was not surprisingly no camping in Gibraltar, but along the east coast a few kilometres back into Spain was a campsite.
We followed the narrow main traffic route into Gibraltar and by the time we stopped to work out our bearings we were at the cable car to the top of the rock. Touts tried to sell us on a minibus tour for 28 euro each rather than taking the cable car. " Entry to all 4 sites, the Jews' Gate. Apes den, Nature Reserve, and the Siege Tunnels and no walking!" We decided to eat the lunch we had bought in Spain in the adjacent Alameda Botanic Gardens. The cable car or minibus both seemed a bit pricey and so we decided to ride around the rock instead. We first headed back to the main street to find most shops had closed as it was Saturday afternoon but we did manage to get a guidebook on Andalucia so we would have some idea where we were going in Spain for the next week.
The ride around the rock involved quite a long challenging climb with our reduced gears, but the views were great if a little hazy.


Sunday morning, after a very pleasant camp with most importantly, hot showers we headed along the Costa Del Sol towards Marbella about 70km. We had booked a hire car for pick up Tuesday morning and there seemed to be a campground right near the car hire office.

Monday we decided to ride further along the coast without our trailer. The main road was dual lane with a very narrow shoulder which with the fast traffic was rather unpleasant but as the road was ofter right on the coast the views were quite pleasant and we had a good tailwind. After about 12km we were able to ride along the beachfront past the fairly continuous row of tall (9-12 floors) apartment buildings that lined the non-beach side of the road, with cafes and restaurants in an endless parade. Also english seemsd the predominant language and our guidebook indicated this was a "package tour" mecca for Northern Europeans. Eventually we found a supermarket to buy our lunch ingredients and sat in the sun watching the parade of sunbathers and expatriate retirees.

Tuesday morning we rode the 9km back to the car hire and picked up a lovely little nearly brand new Renault Clio (only 5758 km on the clock). I separated the bike into two pieces and we tried to fit it in the car. It was a bit awkward so I removed the front wheel and the front stem and handlebars and it was in. Photo etc here